By Our Correspondents
Chairman and Founder of LEADERSHIP
Group Limited, Mr Sam Nda-Isiah, is
dead. The media mogul, writer, politician
and serial entrepreneur, died last night in
Abuja after a brief illness. He was 58.
Confirming his demise, a statement by
the family last night said, “We are deeply
saddened to announce the news of the
passing of the chairman of LEADERSHIP
Group/National Economy, Mr. Sam NdaIsaiah.
“He died in Abuja on Friday night, after
a brief illness. Nda-Isaiah was a family
man, a serial entrepreneur and visioner,
and a passionate politician. He was, above all, a man of faith. Even in this moment of grief, we know he is in a better place.”
Nda-Isaiah was a pharmacist, but he
made his mark as a newspaperman, with
three dailies, including the flagship and
Nigeria’s most influential newspaper,
LEADERSHIP, in his stable.
He was also a serial entrepreneur with
a portfolio of thriving businesses and a
founding member of the All Progressives
Congress (APC) on whose platform he
contested for presidential ticket in 2014.
Nda-Isaiah, a bridge-builder and
champion of Big Ideas, a number of
which he vigorously canvassed, also held
the traditional title of Kakaki Nupe, the
spokesperson of the Nupe people.
He was a promoter of Nigeria’s unity
and an outstanding student of history
and global politics.
His last major outing was on Thursday,
December 10, when he inaugurated the
Board of Economists of NATIONAL
ECONOMY Media Limited, a subsidiary
of the LEADERSHIP Group.
Nda-Isaiah was born in Minna, capital of Niger State on May 1, 1962. He
attended the UNA Elementary School
before switching over to the Christ Church School, Kaduna in 1968 to complete his primary school education.
He attended the Federal Government
College, Kaduna, from 1974 to 1979. He
later studied Pharmacy at the Obafemi
Awolowo University and did his National
Youth Service Corps programme at the
Ekiti State General Hospital in 1984.
Nda-Isaiah, fondly called “Sam”, is an
alumnus of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of
Nda-Isaiah began his working career as a
pharmacist at the Kano Specialist Hospital before he moved to the General Hospital, Minna. He worked at Pfizer Products Limited from 1985 to 1989.
A passionate newspaperman and
pundit, his column, “Last Word” with a
footnote, “Earshot”, was a must read. He
started the column as special writer and
editorial board member of Daily Trust,
before he founded LEADERSHIP with
proceeds from the launch of a collection
of some of his finest articles in 2001.
Before LEADERSHIP became a fullfledged newspaper, Nda-Isaiah started with,LEADERSHIP
CONFIDENTIAL, a newsletter that was of tremendous value and insights, especially among diplomats,
top politicians and business owners.
Sam demonstrated exceptional courage
through his write-ups, a quality that
popularised the newspaper and often put
him at odds with government, especially
under former Presidents Umaru Musa
Yar’Adua and Olusegun Obasanjo
As a result of his contributions to the
media industry, Nda-Isaiah was called
to serve as a committee member in the
Kano State government to revive The
Triumph Newspapers owned by the state
government. In 2003, he was in charge
of President Muhammadu Buhari’s
presidential campaign publicity.
He was a member of the Asian thinktank, the Global Institute for Tomorrow in Hong Kong. In 2019 he was appointed board member of the Baze University, Abuja.
In 2015, Nda-Isaiah ran for the countrypresidency, contesting in the primaries
of the All Progressives Congress (APC),
with the campaign slogan, Big Ideas. He
however lost in the keenly contested
He held the title of Kakaki Nupe
conferred on him by the current Etsu
Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar. He was
also conferred with a chieftaincy title,
Aare Baaroyin of Akure Kingdom, by
Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi,
A very hard-working personality in all
he sought to do, he was fully committed
to ideals which he believed in. He was a
great patriot who believed in the unity of
He Was A Friend, Ally – PMB
President Muhammadu Buhari has
expressed shock and sadness at the death
of chairman of LEADERSHIP Group, Sam
Nda-Isaiah, a man he describes as “a friend
and ally”, a statement issued last night by
special adviser to the president on media
and publicity, Femi Adesina, noted.
Adesina said the president condoled
with the media fraternity, the Nda-Isaiah
family, friends and associates of the
“The country has lost a man of
conviction, a resolute and dogged believer in a better Nigeria,” the statement quoted Buhari as saying.
“He will be sorely missed. This is a
massive fish gone out of the media ocean,” the presidential spokesman further quoted the president as saying “of the pharmacist, renowned columnist, and one time presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).”